A common misconception about select American Express cards is that they have no credit limit, allowing cardholders to charge as much as they’d like to their card each month.
However, this is more of a half-truth. While it is true that many Amex cards do not have a preset spending limit, that does not mean that your monthly spending is unlimited.
In this post, we will break down Ames’s approach to no preset spending limits, along with the Amex cards that offer no preset spending limits and their benefits.
How Does Amex’s No Preset Spending Limit Work?
Most card users are used to having a predetermined credit limit that they’re given when they are approved for the card. For example, if you are approved for a credit card with a $5,000 credit limit, then you can charge up to $5,000 on the card and any transactions over that amount will be declined.
Many Amex cards, on the other hand, do not issue you a preset credit limit when you are approved for the card. However, no preset limit does not equal no limit, and that is where many people tend to get confused.
American Express will still determine a range for what it will allow you to spend up to, based on factors like your monthly spending patterns, your payment history, credit record, and your stated income. For instance, if your stated income with Amex is $50,000, then it is unlikely that it would allow you to charge, say, $20,000 in a single month.
Hot Tip: If you have a much larger than average purchase coming up and you want to make sure that Amex will not decline the purchase, it offers a spending power tool that lets you do just that. All you need to do is enter the dollar amount you plan to spend and Amex will tell you immediately if it will be approved.
Amex Personal Cards With No Preset Spending Limit
While most card options that American Express offers will come with the standard credit limit that most of us are used to, it offers 3 card options that each offer no preset spending limit.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Platinum card is designed for frequent travelers who want premium perks and benefits. Not only does the card earn 5x Membership Rewards points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, but it also offers the best airport lounge access of any travel rewards card — allowing you to visit over 1,300 lounges worldwide across 6 lounge networks.
Cardholders also receive benefits like a $200 annual airline incidental credit, trip delay insurance, purchase protection, access to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program, and complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. Enrollment may be required for some Amex benefits.
Hot Tip: The Amex Platinum benefits don’t stop there, though — for more check out our guide on all the best benefits and perks of the Amex Platinum card.
American Express® Gold Card
The Amex Gold card is a real heavy hitter when it comes to earning Membership Rewards points. With it, you’ll earn 4x points per $1 at restaurants, 4x points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases), and 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel.
Not only is the Amex Gold card a fantastic points-earner, but it also offers excellent benefits like up to a $120 annual dining credit, no foreign transaction fees (rates and fees), access to the Amex Hotel Collection program, baggage insurance, rental car insurance, and purchase protection. Enrollment may be required for some Amex benefits.
Hot Tip: Curious which card option is best for you? Take a look at our detailed comparison of the perks of the Amex Platinum card vs. the Amex Gold card.
American Express® Green Card
The Amex Green card charges the lowest annual fee of the 3 personal Amex cards without preset spending limits and allows you to earn 3x points per $1 at restaurants, on all eligible travel, and on transit purchases.
Beyond that, the Amex Green card offers a $100 annual credit towards a CLEAR membership, a $100 annual credit on LoungeBuddy purchases, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance, rental car insurance, and purchase protection.
Amex Business Cards With No Preset Spending Limit
If you’re a small business owner you’ll be pleased to know that American Express also offers a handful of small business cards with no preset spending limit.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Business Platinum card is similar in many ways to the personal version of the card. They both offer best-in-class airport lounge access, a $200 annual airline fee credit, access to Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status, travel protections, and purchase protection. Similar to the personal cards, enrollment may be required for some benefits.
But the Amex Business Platinum does have some key differences that small business owners might find compelling, with benefits like a $400 annual Dell credit, 1.5x points per $1 on on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else (up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year), and a 35% bonus to the value of your points when using Pay With Points.
Bottom Line: The annual fee of the Amex Business Platinum card can feel a bit excessive for any frugal small business owner, but you should know that the card is packed with great benefits that can give you even more value than what you pay for the fee.
American Express® Business Gold Card
Business owners with a lot of expenses will love the Amex Business Gold card thanks to it earning 4x points per $1 on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each month on up to $150,000 in spending each year. The categories include:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases on online, TV, and radio advertising
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud systems from select technology providers
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. shipping purchases
Beyond the Amex Business Gold card’s great bonus categories, cardholders also enjoy benefits like access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and a 25% airline bonus when using Pay With Points.
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express
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|Business Green Rewards Card from American Express|
(at Amex's secure site)
- Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases with the Business Green Rewards Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 2x for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at amextravel.com
- Earn 1x for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
- For rates and fees of the Amex Business Green Card, click here.
While the Amex Business Green card doesn’t earn as many points or offer as many benefits as some of its counterparts, it can still be a good option for small business owners who are looking for a more affordable option.
You’ll earn just 1x point per $1 on all purchases, except for purchases through Amex Travel where you’ll earn 2x per $1, but you can also add employee cards at no additional cost to help you rack up even more points.
Plus you’ll receive the standard perks like purchase protection, extended warranty protection, rental car insurance, and baggage insurance.
The Plum Card® from American Express
The Amex Plum card is the only card of all of the no preset spending limit Amex cards that does not earn Membership Rewards points. Instead, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash-back on the portion of your balance that you pay within 10 days of your statement closing date.
But a unique benefit of the Amex Plum card is that if you need extra time to pay off your balance, the Amex Plum card offers up to 60 days to pay without being charged interest as long as you make the minimum payment.
Other benefits include rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.
Other Amex Cards With No Preset Spending Limit
The only other 2 American Express cards that offer no preset spending limit are the ultra-exclusive, invite-only Centurion® Card from American Express and Business Centurion® Card from American Express, both of which are often referred to as the Amex Black cards.
While many consumers believe that the Amex Centurion cards have no limit, that is not quite the case. Sure, most Amex Centurion cardholders would be permitted to charge amounts to their card each month that might seem absolutely absurd, but the fact remains that American Express will not authorize any charges that are in excess of what it believes a cardholder has the means to repay — no matter what card they have.
As you can see, some of the very best cards that American Express has to offer are no preset spending limit cards. While it is easy to see how someone might confuse no preset spending limit with no limit at all, the fact is that no matter how much you spend or how large your income is, each cardholder has some sort of variable limit.
For the most part, though, it is unlikely that you would ever reach the limit where Amex began denying further purchases unless you’re behind on previous payments or make a relatively large purchase out of nowhere. Fortunately for Amex cardholders, you can always use the spending power tool to double-check whether or not you’ll have any issues making a purchase on a no preset limit card.
The information regarding the American Express® Green Card, Business Green Rewards Card from American Express, Centurion® Card from American Express, and Business Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Plum Card® from American Express, click here.